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  • Population Health Resources Help PTs, PTAs Make the Case for Employer-Sponsored Programs

    Increasingly, employers are warming to an idea already familiar to many physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs): investing in prevention and wellness efforts makes sense both in terms of overall health care and company bottom lines. Now APTA is helping PTs and PTAs interested in making that idea a reality for more employers.

    The "Working With Employers Toward Population Health" webpage is an area devoted to providing PTs and PTAs with resources to help them make the case to employers that preventing noncommunicable diseases among employees—or addressing them before they become symptomatic, disabling, and costly—is a smart move, and one that the physical therapy profession is poised to lead in collaboration with other disciplines.

    The webpage offers a perspective paper and recorded webinar on direct-to-employer physical therapy, and includes past articles from PT in Motion magazine that explore how employer self-insurance opens up opportunities for PTs and PTAs in the population health space. The page also features an inspiring blog post from Mike Eisenhart, PT, that challenges the profession to "actually deliver on the mandate of our vision and, in so doing, deliver on the essential promise that we help individuals and populations alike move away from disease and toward improved health and quality of life."

    The association will continue adding resources as they become available as part of larger efforts by APTA to support PTs and PTAs in promoting population health to transform society. Those efforts include an upcoming webinar looking at the social determinants of health and how they're measured across populations. The webinar itself is set for September 21, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm (ET), but registrants will be provided material to read in advance.


    • Amazing to me that the evidence is overwhelming that physical activity and exercise prevent/reduce the risk of T2DM, CVD, CVA, CA and a host of other chronic diseases yet PT is not thought of nor included as part of the solution to America's health problems. We have two epidemics we must solve including obesity and opiate addiction. Properly prescribed physical activity and exercise with nutrition are the solution for obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and frailty. Currently, exercise is the only known effective treatment for frailty. The CDC has specifically recommended PT as one part of the solution for addressing chronic pain to reduce opiate use and addiction. Incredible that the accountable care organizations (AC)) charged with pop health and prevention have not ran to PT discipline knowing the evidence that physical activity reduces chronic disease rates, improves quality of life and health. Proper physical activity reduces depression, improves cognitive functioning, peripheral circulation, improves cholesterol levels and immune system function, yet, the medical model and culture prevails. It is time for the PT profession to move beyond talking about population health and do pop health. It is time for PT to be paid for preventative services and actually transform society. PTs must show value in improving health, quality of life and advocate for societal health and individual health, otherwise be left at the curb. Kudos to Mike Eisenhart for doing pop health. Time is now for ACO's to truly be innovative and seek PT discipline as part of this country's health solution. Let's talk.

      Posted by Kenneth L Miller on 8/13/2017 8:49 AM

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